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Accountant excluded for favouring one shareholder over the other

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An accountant received two exclusions from the ICAEW and was left to pay costs of £55k after he favoured one shareholder over another.

11th Apr 2024
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Timothy Vogel, the owner of a Swaffham-based accounting firm, faced two exclusions from the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) and £55k in costs after favouring one shareholder to the detriment of the other amid the breakdown of their marriage.

As documented in April’s ICAEW disciplinary orders, the accountant was at the centre of a dispute between two shareholders following their divorce, which culminated in one of the pair seizing control of the company, leaving the other one marginalised and his shares deemed worthless. But Vogel was anything but impartial. 

As the accountant for the company, Vogel was in a position of trust but as the tribunal concluded “he lacked independence”. 

The disciplinary tribunal viewed two of the complaints against Vogel so severe that both merited an exclusion in their own right, while he was severely reprimanded for his lack of engagement during the investigation. 

The disciplinary tribunal concluded the almost seven-year investigation into Vogel’s involvement with the warring ex-partners by banishing him from the institute and ordering him to pay a contribution towards ICAEW’s costs of £55,645.

Conflict ensued

The complaints against Vogel stemmed from his role in the dispute between the former husband and wife directors of a company. “Mr C” and “Ms D” each held one share and were directors of an online-based transcription service (B Limited). 

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Replies (13)

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By Paul Crowley
11th Apr 2024 11:34

Wow
Having read a number of ICAEW reports over the years, the one thing that is clear is that cooperation with the investigation is absolutely critical.
I also think that there are always extra factors that are not made public.

Thanks (9)
the sea otter
By memyself-eye
11th Apr 2024 20:52

The tribunal?
Sentencing?
Have I missed something here?
Was this a court of law?
Did the judge don a black cap and pronounce the accused to be hanged by the neck until dead?

I'm guessing not. Pythonesc doesn't begin to describe it.....

Thanks (11)
Replying to memyself-eye:
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By Dr Fauci
12th Apr 2024 11:25

I know right...."Sentencing" :)

Thanks (2)
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By Yossarian
12th Apr 2024 09:54

Two exclusions? Blimey, does that mean they exclude him, then say "It's alright, you can come back in" and when he tries to, they shout "Fooled you!" and slam the door again? Rather like being given two life sentences, to run consecutively.

Thanks (6)
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By NewACA
12th Apr 2024 10:20

In an acrimonious split between a husband and wife, the accountant should have foreseen at some point lawyers would be pouring over documents from his firm, looking to tear them apart to benefit one party over the other.

It is always a temptation for firms to side with a director that is willing to pay for services when the other is not involved and doesnt comminicate or arrange payments. However, when it's a marriage breakdown, the risks are far higher and the accountant should have realised that. If this company was only worth £600k, I doubt the accountant even got £55k in fees over the length of the engagement, accountants need to be wary!

Thanks (9)
Replying to NewACA:
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By Dib
12th Apr 2024 16:28

Pouring what over the documents? ;o)

Thanks (3)
Replying to Dib:
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By richard.snape
12th Apr 2024 17:09

Scorn?

Thanks (2)
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By D W Marsden
12th Apr 2024 10:20

This guys lack of integrity and professionalism is stunning. Exclusion is the right answer. He has deliberately cost his client a small fortune. Was he in a relationship with the lady he favoured or was he financially incentivised?

Thanks (6)
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By JD
12th Apr 2024 12:42

To the OP that was asking for wise counsel, on potentially acting as an expert witness in a divorce case earlier this week ....if a reason to steer well clear is still needed, then read this and run for the hills.

Thanks (2)
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By OrmeGoat
12th Apr 2024 13:16

Would someone at the ICAEW explain why the costs were £55,645 if the tribunal acknowledged that they were high

Thanks (4)
Replying to OrmeGoat:
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By Paul Crowley
12th Apr 2024 14:56

I wonder what the charge out rates are?

Thanks (2)
Replying to OrmeGoat:
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By kim.shaw-and-co.com
13th Apr 2024 22:34

OrmeGoat wrote:

Would someone at the ICAEW explain why the costs were £55,645 if the tribunal acknowledged that they were high

£7.949p.a. - just over £150/week on average in time costs over 7 years. If the respondent was less than co-operative, requiring a lot of to-ing and fro-ing, chasing etc. it wouldn't be difficult to run up a bill like that.

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Replying to kim.shaw-and-co.com:
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By kim.shaw-and-co.com
13th Apr 2024 22:34

[quote=kim.shaw-and-co.com]

OrmeGoat wrote:

Would someone at the ICAEW explain why the costs were £55,645 if the tribunal acknowledged that they were high

£7,949p.a. - just over £150/week on average in time costs over 7 years. If the respondent was less than co-operative, requiring a lot of to-ing and fro-ing, chasing etc. it wouldn't be difficult to run up a bill like that.

Thanks (0)